Can’t get enough of myself- dressage update

So I signed up for a dressage show (yes it’s been a few years, yiikes) so I figured in my lesson last night, we should work on some elements of the tests. HUMBLING. Wow.

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What Oats would rather be doing. Also, why isn’t it summer anymore here? Godammit!

It was a tough, tough ride and I had to get ‘real’ with Oats, who thought he could outlast me. He was wrong! But I got tired, bigtime haha. He fussed, he fought, he threw a small hissy fit, we had to go back to the walk to confirm him, and then back to trot, then back to walk when he started fussing too much and protesting, then back to trot…rinse, repeat.

It was pretty exhausting, and my hip started to cramp up. I’m noticing more charley-horse leg episodes in my dressage days on Tuesday, likely due to the amount of work I am putting in on my legs from the running/longer run days on the weekend. It shows me that with the increasing amount of physical exertion, I need to adapt and get better about using electrolytes instead of just forgetting and then getting a major charley horse in the middle of my ride, AGAIN.

The last one I had really hurt, and it damaged my leg muscle for over a week! WTF?

Anyways, so the lesson was long, and tough and kind of an ego-killer. But you know, Karen said it was one of the first lessons where I was able to get firm, and fairly tough with Oats, and KEEP doing it. I didn’t give in, get upset (though it was certainly frustrating) I just kept.at.it.

So, yeah to sum up dressage= very hard and tiring and now what am I doing signing up for a dressage show? So I can show off my mediocre work and lack of progress?

Well, I do want to show off my fancy new dressage boots. So, there’s that!

Oats did get an apple as a treat from my barn friend, which was very nice of her. Also he was offered some really lovely fresh-cut long grass from my other barn friend. Greedy pony gobbled it right up!

So easy to do, and so easy not to do: MEC Rust Buster 10k race recap!

So yeah this race….

Going in, I had planned to run it at a slower pace and use it as an appropriate training run. I wanted more ‘go button’ at the end, I wanted to be able to breathe/not feel like dying during it, and I wanted to save myself for my bigger race this upcoming weekend.

Newsflash: Basically none of those things happened. It was a huge struggle bus, I let my ego get the best of me, and I kind of hated the whole race.

I was planning for an avg. of 4:45/km, but that started feeling really hard? What exactly was going on? Why was I struggling so badly? It was FREEZING out. Frost covered everything, I was absolutely dying in the cold, and my hamstrings- which don’t normally bother me- were tight as hell and twinging with every step. My legs were exhausted, my breathing sucked out loud- every breath I took in, I choked on phlegm. In short, I was miserable.

A few mistakes I can identify off the top- while I wasn’t overly pleased with my race strategy last weekend at the 8k- it overall wasn’t a bad race and I got my best 8k time yet. That was a tough effort, and I shouldn’t have expected the 10k to go that smoothly…

I expected the pace to feel easier and when it didn’t, I beat myself up.

I was struggling mightily with the cold and never warmed up.

I stayed up late-ish drinking wine with a friend (it was a great time! So sue me haha)

I felt like I was getting run off my feet even at a slower pace- and my ego dictated that I keep trying, instead of just…oh, slowing down? dummy!

I wanted to give up, give up, give up.

And so ends the saga of my worst 10k time in two years- 47:14? Ah…running is very humbling. But, I would like to shout out to my friends who ran VERY good races. One of them is even back to racing after a life-threatening battle against cancer. I’m so impressed by their sheer force of will and tenacity.

It reminds me that any day I can run is a good day! And any race is kind of gamble- either you have it that day, or you don’t. Either way, I get to run 🙂

And thanks to the volunteers who make the MEC race run so smoothly. I’m always so pleased with the coordination, the ease of bag check/pickup, course is always safe & well-timed and good post-run snacks. Yes, more please!

Better luck next time.

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Now Wait For Last Year

Now Wait For Last Year

Another year, another graduation. It feels like only last fall I was finishing up my Master’s degree, and now husband is finished his.

I like convocations to come at the end of the semester, because it feels like a natural bookend, a closure-event.

And this was no exception- it’s a time to move on, to put things behind and see what the future holds.

At the banquet offered by his school of business, one of his professors stood up and spoke. While I was mostly tuning out the other speakers (I want to write ‘talkers’ because that’s kind of what the day felt like), this professor was different. I agreed with what he was saying, and it was really engaging. He was interesting. What did he say, that so resonated with me?

We can’t mark time by years passing- we just get older. The Greeks had two definitions of time: Kronos (normal time marked by seconds/minutes/hours) and Kathos (I think that’s how it is spelled?) which is time marked by events in which you, for that period of time, are true to yourself. You are glorious, you encompass all, you are yourself in that moment. And the beauty of Kathos-time, is that as you age- you have many experiences in that time. So, growing older is a good thing, it means you have enjoyed many moments of Kathos time in which you were truly yourself.

That did resonate with me. He also spoke of our many ‘selves’ and how conflict can come about when our ‘selves’ do not match up or align. Sometimes they are a bit off- hell, always, but in the major cases? That’s when relationships end, new relationships start, jobs end, new jobs start, and you move houses/states/countries. Change is hard.

I think for the most part my ‘selves’ are aligned – who I see myself as, how others see me, and how I want to be seen.

I struggle sometimes with who I see myself as, and how I actually am. I want to be a writer and publish a book, I want to be a great hunter/jumper rider who soars confidently over fences. In reality? I have NOT published a book- nor have the inclination to right now- but am still jealous about others who have. And I struggle DAILY with fear- fear of jumping, embarrassment, horse show pressures.

So, no, I am not wholly aligned. But the beauty of that is that in my experiences (riding, writing, even work sometimes), is that I am experiencing Kathos-time. Time when I am most MYSELF!